‘A chronology of scars’ [book review]

A review of Theatre of War by Andrea Jeftanovic, translated from the Spanish by Frances Riddle It’s been a downright brilliant year for Charco Press titles, a feeling that can only be compounded by the Edinburgh-based press’s final publication of 2020. Andrea Jeftanovic’s Theatre of War is a firecracker of a novel, structurally ambitious andContinue reading ‘A chronology of scars’ [book review]

Ten of the Best Independent Publisher Subscriptions

The festive season is almost upon us, and while Christmas will no doubt be very different for most of us this year, perhaps we can use gift giving for a final boost of positivity. The last few months have proved again and again how much joy, solace and human connection literature can provide in timesContinue reading Ten of the Best Independent Publisher Subscriptions

‘My eyes were open in the dark’ [book review]

A review of A Ghost in the Throat by Doireann Ní Ghríofa Isn’t this, in the end, what literature is for? This sense of connection, of shared understanding – a feeling that runs deeper than common background or mutual experience and rests, instead, in what it is to be human. This creation of something soContinue reading ‘My eyes were open in the dark’ [book review]

‘In Paris and free’ [book review]

A review of A Country for Dying by Abdellah Taïa, translated from the French by Emma Ramadan In his new novel, A Country for Dying, Abdellah Taïa explores the lives of migrants in Paris, offering an unusual and uncomfortably real perspective on what it is to exist between places. Cut off from their own countriesContinue reading ‘In Paris and free’ [book review]

The Monthly Booking: October 2020

The autumn of intense publication continues, added to by the recent appearance of shortlists for the Booker Prize and the Deutscher Buchpreis, but as is so often the case my core reading list for October is composed of books already sitting on my shelves. A couple are relatively recent releases, while the others are stalwartsContinue reading The Monthly Booking: October 2020

Independent Press Profile: V&Q Books

In light of the recent lack of bookshops, I’ve started a new series in which I profile my favourite independent publishers. These are some of the most exciting addresses when it comes to finding original ideas, literature in translation and voices that are underrepresented in the mainstream. Each one is more than deserving of supportContinue reading Independent Press Profile: V&Q Books

‘Bread is quiet, mute’ [book review]

A review of Our Daily Bread by Predrag Matvejević, translated from the Croatian by Christina Pribichevich-Zorić My abiding love of bread began around six years ago on a visit to Uzbekistan. As in many Central Asian countries, the bread there is sold in large, flattish rounds, shiny-crusted on the outside, white and fluffy on theContinue reading “‘Bread is quiet, mute’ [book review]”

‘Looking at the incandescent door’ [book review]

A review of No Presents Please by Jayant Kaikini, translated from the Kannada by Tejaswini Niranjana Mumbai. Say the name and it conjures multitudes: one of the world’s most populated cities, its streets awash with life, a sea of endless opportunity and dashed hopes, extreme wealth and abject poverty. Mumbai, with its grand colonial buildingsContinue reading “‘Looking at the incandescent door’ [book review]”

‘The difference between people and rivers’ [book review]

A review of The Book of Shanghai, ed. Jin Li and Dai Congrong Literature is unquestionably one of the best ways to get under the skin of a place, and if you’re keen to explore one city in particular it is equally incontestable that the superb ‘The Book of . . .’ series by CommaContinue reading “‘The difference between people and rivers’ [book review]”

The Monthly Booking: July 2020

It was my birthday last month, which means that my shelves are happily groaning under the weight of yet more books to read. As such, I once again have a themeless reading month – it’s my aim to get my to-be-read shelf down to a manageable size before I buy anything new, although given theContinue reading “The Monthly Booking: July 2020”

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